What’s the Most Important Meal of the Day?

Americans spend billions of dollars on the weight loss industry sussing the best diet to attain a lean figure when research is proving it’s not only about WHAT we eat but also WHEN we eat.

In the 1970s mealtimes were easily blurred with snacks. The average American was no longer eating breakfast at 8 am lunch at noon, (no snacks) and home for dinner by 6 pm. Modern living has wiped away the pattern to naturally intermittent fast 14 hours from breakfast to dinner, leaving a window of eating for 10 hours during the day.

Some advice even suggests eating 6 small meals a day. Why? Many think it’s to rev the metabolism. However, I argue this is not true. Another reason may be to manage the endless marketing and subconscious message that we need to fear hunger. “Hungry? Grab a Snickers,” or “Do the Dew,” better yet, “It Melts in your Mouth, Not in Your Hand.” When my dear 90-year-old grandma was a girl, I bet she had no idea what the saying “Snack Attack” meant. While the effort is there to do better, including the Grocery Manufacturing Association taking the initiative to offer healthier snacks to kids, we are all missing the message: we don’t need to eat at all hours of the day. It’s not favorable on the wallet, waistline nor hormones.


  • Make eating an experience, start the day strong with a solid meal and have boundaries of giving your body the time to rest and digest.
  • The best ingredient in a meal is hunger and a meal should satiate enough to go to from one meal to the next. One caveat for this is if lunch and dinner are greater than 6 hours apart.
  • Additionally, if you are not hungry when you wake, it’s okay to defer breakfast for a few hours — but it’s not to be skipped.

What else matters with a pattern of eating? Is it better to have a large meal for dinner or earlier? Let’s follow the research by looking at a few strong studies. 

A 2013 study, including 2 groups of overweight women were randomly assigned to eat either a large breakfast or a large dinner. Both ate 1400 calories per day, with the study variable of the largest meal being breakfast or dinner. This is what the results showed:

Large breakfast group = lost far more weight than the dinner group. How? One studied lab showed the dinner group had a much larger overall rise in insulin.

Additionally, a 1992 study showed similar results. With a large meal, the insulin response was 25-50% greater in the evening. The higher the insulin response in the evening was translating into more weight gain for the dinner group. Importantly this showcases how obesity is a hormonal, not caloric, imbalance. Losing weight and maintaining a lower weight is not a calorie counting game. There is much more to it.  


  • Eat like a prince for breakfast, a king for lunch and a pauper for dinner.
  • If diabetic, minimalize blood sugar variation by taking insulin medication prior to meals. As a type 1, I find I need 10 minutes before breakfast, nearly 20 minutes before lunch and 15 minutes of a pre-bolus of insulin before dinner.
  • Another practice that is more well-known to satiety and health is to never eat a carbohydrate food (fruit, grains, starchy vegetable) alone. Pair a carbohydrate food with protein or fat or both to minimize any blood sugar spikes.

Next up, what is the most important meal of the day? Well, they all are important for different reasons, but it’s essential for our health to allow for time to rest and digest (don’t eat all day nor night).

Overall, breakfast shall not be skipped or be skimpy. A calorie-loaded meal at the beginning of the day pays off with hunger and hormone control, prevents snacking and cravings and can help blood sugar control and weight management. A good idea = vegetable, 3 egg omelet with coffee and a spoonful of coconut oil.

Lunch shall be valued and large. Hormonally, lunch is the best meal to have the most carbohydrates (fruit, lentils, beans, gluten free grains, and my preference and favorite, starchy vegetables) consumed. Protein is essential for blood sugar control and satiety, as is fat.

If dinner is more than 6 hours from lunch, pack a small snack; not a small meal. Choose something that is gentle on blood sugars (nuts, jerky, raw vegetables, coconut, avocado, olives) and is sufficient to retain hunger excitement for the next meal. Dinner can be a smaller version of lunch and once it is enjoyed and finished, the kitchen is closed.


  • Do a self-experiment and see how many hours you go from one day to the next without eating. Attempt again and this time try to have a 13-hour gap, which is reflective with the sunset to sunrise. Do you feel any different? Did you sleep any sounder? Continue to play with this until you reach a timeframe that feels intuitive and beneficial. I like using a smartphone app called Zero to help with the tracking.
Before one immediately makes it a goal to stop eating after dinner and adjusting meal sizes, a healthy bedtime should be in place first. Meals need to be large enough so this new pattern doesn’t lead to undereating. Remember if weight loss is a goal, successful weight loss is about balancing hormones. Eating in the evening can disrupt circadian rhythms and therefore hormones. If hunger persists at night, be sure breakfast is large enough and understand hunger comes in waves. Additionally, if omitting a snack presents a very stressful process, ease into the practice. Overall, every meal is important and so is how we eat it when we eat it.


Glucose Meters – How Accurate Are They?

I test my blood a lot. If I had to put money on it, I believe I average 8-10 finger pricks a day. Even with a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), I double check my levels every time (okay most times) I eat, feel off and/or need to calibrate. However, I find it interesting when I test my glucose seconds apart, my meter doesn’t always tell me the exact same readings.

Admittingly, I do not wash and dry my hands everytime before testing (yes it matters), but even when I am well-groomed in the process, two readings can be 5-15 mg/dl different. Sometimes the difference is even more, and if that is the case, I will test a third time. But which glucose reading do I believe? Often I go with what the second reading is (if I am using the same poked finger) or I do a quick average of the two. Overall, if I test and get a number that doesn’t relate to how I am feeling, I test again.

Besides washing my hands, I try to ensure the test strips are stored in a cool dry place, the lancet is new (I struggle here) and I try to measure my meter’s accuracy, comparing it to a lab at my endo appointment, once a year.

Thankfully, the technology of blood sugar control is getting better and as of 2016 the standards for all new meters were heightened:

  • 95% of all measured blood glucose meter values must be within 15% of the true value,
  • 99% of meter values must be within 20% of the true value,
  • research on new meters must include at least 350 people with diabetes, larger than previously required, and
  • they require greater hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) accuracy than the 2013 ISO standard.

Putting this into practical terms, if the true glucose value is 100 mg/dl, the over the counter meter has to be within 15 mg/dl (85-115 mg/dl) in 95% of cases, and within 20 mg/dl (80-120 mg/dl) in 99% of cases.

For healthcare facilities using glucose meters, a separate guidance has been issued, but with similar standards.

Overall, this is raising the bar to get new, better meters to the market. As of late, my strongest recommendation for clients with diabetes is to move towards the meter from OneDrop. Not only does the meter prove to meet the guidelines, but the price for strips is very economical, and the data transfers automatically to an app where it can be analyzed and shared with a community (if preferred). Please note, I get no kickback from this recommendation, other than providing my clients a tool to better control.

Great things happen when things are accurate and newer meters are another tool to a better A1C%.


Related articles:

Choose your meter wisely



The Autoimmune Fix

I leap to the opportunity to listen to Dr. Tom O’Bryan, DC, CCN, DACBN speak. When his most recent book came out, “The Autoimmune Fix,” I grabbed a copy and had a hard time putting it down. This book is a well-written, scientifically-sound, explanation about how to stop the hidden autoimmune damage that keeps you sick, fat and tired before it turns into a disease.

Even someone with an autoimmune disease for over 25 years (me!), and as a nutrition expert, there were heaps I learned. A few stats I noted include:

  • The premier neurologist in the world specializing in the impact of gluten sensitivity on the brain, with or without celiac disease, is Mario Hadjivassiliou, MD, who believe gluten sensitivity is associated with autoimmune disease and that celiac disease is the just manifestation of it. What does this mean? Gluten sensitivity is something to be taken so seriously.
  • Gluten sensitivity is an initiator to many systemic autoimmune diseases; this doesn’t mean everyone with an autoimmune disease has a gluten sensitivity, but there is a very high correlation. Applying this stat to my practice in helping 100s of clients, all of them have felt better on a gluten free diet. This doesn’t mean wheat bread is equally exchanged for gluten free bread. Real food is encouraged.
  • Dr. O’Bryan has shared some valuable articles: “The Conundrum of Gluten Sensitivity and Autoimmunity – What Tests Are Often Wrong,” and a bonus guide, “The Hidden Sources of Gluten, ” at GlutenandAutoimmunity.com.
  • Many people with the genes for celiac disease or non-celiac wheat sensitivity may lead their entire lives without ever developing the symptoms of the disease. For some, the symptoms are immediately apparent, where others it take years or decades to appear. Some are able to eat gluten filled foods until symptoms arise and they have lost their oral tolerance, activating the genes, producing antibodies, leading to developing the disease. Researchers have also found that celiac has doubled every 15 years. This is tough, but the great news is it shows that we can control our own health. If we know the mechanism by wich a disease develops, it gives us the chance to reverse engineer the direction we’re going and move toward a higher level of health.
  • “Throughout life, the most profound influences in health, vitality, and function are not the doctors you see or the drugs, surgery, or other therapy you’ve undertaken. The most profound influences are the cumulative effects of the decisions you make about your diet and your lifestyle, and how those decisions affect the expression of your genes.” – Jeffrey Bland, PhD
  • It takes 17 years for the latest research to trickle down to clinical practice. New research about the autoimmune spectrum is coming out every day, but most doctors don’t simply have the time to read it.
  • Patients with Hashimoto’s thyroid disease can reduce their dose of thyroid hormone medication (with their doctor’s permission, of course) by 49 percent by eliminating gluten from their diet.*
  • When Infants are high risk for type 1 diabetes (from a family history), parents are advised to avoid feeding their baby all cow’s milk products for the first year of life. The reason is the vulnerability to produce islet cell antibodies if you are sensitive to milk.
  • If a problem is sensed, it’s advised to get a Multiple Autoimmune Reactivity Screening done. If a doctor won’t do the test, one can be ordered from theDr.com.
  • More than 80% of all processed foods, such as vegetable oils and breakfast cereals, contain genetic modified ingredients.
  • To watch a powerful video and learn more about gut health and how the microbiome works, go to GetYourGutTested.com.


C. Virili et al. “Atypical Celiac Disease as Cause of Increased Need for Thyroxine: A Systemic Study,” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 97, no3 (Mar 2012) E419-22.

Get Moving for Your Mood

Our happiness is predetermined ~ 50% by genes. This leaves us with a huge opportunity to take action to smile, or want to smile, more often. Overall our brain is like a muscle, the more we influence happiness, the more likely or more easily it can be to attain. You see, happiness is part of a chemical process of neurons and dopamine receptors. If we don’t exercise doing things that enlighten our mood, those receptors can decrease with time and age.

Thankfully here we can hit 2 birds with one stone here! Aerobic exercise is one of the best ways to improve mood. Not only can we look at activity for fitness, heart health, and weight loss, but overall we can improve our happiness and mental health too.

Therefore, maybe weight loss should move to way wayside, and overall mental and physical health should be capitalized? Not a bad idea and research proves that focusing on health, in general, is better and more productive than focusing on losing weight.

As someone with diabetes, exercise impacts my blood sugar control, but that doesn’t hold me back from doing interval training, yoga and heavy lifting weekly. Also, I asked a few friends from “Females with Type 1 Diabetes, Type 1 Diabetic Athletes Group, DMs Supporting DMs,” Facebook communities what their activity looks like, and this is what they had to share:

I have played soccer before and after my diagnosis, and crossfit 5-6 times per week. Crossfit keeps my blood sugar more level than soccer ever did! The most significant differences that I notice are overnight readings. My insulin sensitivity is very manageable as I am more aware working out… When I am not active or in the past when I have not been working out, it was much harder to notice my insulin sensitivities! Being active and staying fit has changed my life incredibly! My diabetes is pure motivation to get to the gym when I can hardly stand to do anything that day! It has really pushed me to have the desire to see within range blood sugar numbers and I know that being active is the only way I will accomplish that. Type 1 diabetes using the Medtronic 530g! Diagnosed for 10 years and 7 months! – Katelyn Partridge 

I start every day with a 2-mile walk with my dog. Then after working 8 hours depending on the night I play racquetball, tennis, do Zumba or yoga. In the winter I ski on the weekends. In the spring and summer, I do distance cycling. Exercise has helped me lose weight, maintain decent blood sugar control and it makes me more sensitive to insulin. Besides that it makes me feel good. Omnipod pump and a Dexcom. Type 1, dxed May 1975. – Clare T. Fishman 

I’ve been t1 for 24 years and got a Dexcom 2.5 years ago. It really helps with hiking. You can see a drop coming before it happens and eat some glucose to maintain nice flat lines. – Kate Sullivan 

I was a competitive dancer most of my youth and started really working out again two years ago. It changed my life and I started to feel strong and empowered again—my insulin needs dropped from 75 units a day to 45 units a day and I’ve been on a pump for 14 years…as I realized I could workout with diabetes as I had a fear that it would hold me back I found a passion in running and have now completed 5ks, 10ks and working towards my first half marathon this spring! I realized when I believe in myself, I can do anything I set my mind to. Diagnosed with Type 1 on st patty’s day 1997. – Amanda Jolene Smith 

Grew up racing BMX and mountain bikes nationally, competed in fitness competitions for a few years and now do CrossFit 4-5 times a week and stay active with my kids! Competing and exercising with diabetes can be tricky, but if you watch your patterns closely, with trial and error you can figure it out. Building muscle and staying consistent has been the best for me with managing diabetes! Also, this was crucial for two heathy pregnancies with diabetes too! Type 1 for 25 years since age 14, currently on Medtronic pump and CGM. – Allison Sigler MacKenzie 

I make it a point to exercise at the gym at least 3 (but I shoot for 5) days a week, with “active rest days” the rest of the week. Anything more than a gentle walk means I have to take extra insulin, but it’s totally worth it. Besides the benefits to my physical health, I dervive huge mental health benefits, too. When living with a chronic disease, we have to take every opportunity we can to feel good about ourselves, and to feel strong. This is how I keep my head up, and keep going on. I’m looking forward to rocking the NEXT 31+ years, whether they find a cure, or not. I got this! T1 for 31 years (pump/CGM), and active for 2 years… – Dana Coltrinari Burke 

I run 5-8 miles almost every day. On days I don’t run, my numbers are all over the place. I also do yoga and stretching almost everyday. The mental health benefits from the endorphin release and clearing of my mind is equally as important in managing this disease. Diagnosed 3.5 years ago, at age 51. I use both the Omnipod and a CGM. – Stacey Boehrer 

I mostly run, 3-5 days a week. Running has helped me reduce the amount of insulin I need to take and makes me more fit, which in the long run will add years to my life. I was diagnosed at age 5, 33 years ago. I use an Omnipod pump and Dexcom G5 CGM. – Matt Barnett  

“Control diabetes. Don’t let it control you” I had amazing parents who went through training and extreme patience when they first had to give me insulin and figure out the diet. We were an active family already so it was a little easier. Its crucial to have the support of your family and friends especially if newly diagnosed. It’s a complete lifestyle change! For those of us who’ve known nothing else it’s a little easier to transition through each phase. I tried the cgm for a week but due to the way the alarms were set, I went super high and super low due to overcorrections or overeating. For me it’s hard to change what’s been working- low carb meals, lots of protein and fresh fruits and vegetables, exercise includes walking the dogs, running, playing with the kids, swimming, tennis, basketball and whatever comes in front of me.Type I diabetic for 32 years- only on the pump for the past 7 years. My A1c has been between 5.7-6.5 for the past 10 years but my goal is to get it back to 6.0 or under. – Joella Davis 

The formula for happiness is not the same for all of us, but figuring out what we enjoy is key. Go out and play and make time for personal play. When this is easier said than done, I make a gratitude list on paper or in my head, and quickly realize, “I’m too blessed to be stressed.” Or at least overly stressed. 🙂


Concluding My 21 Day Cleanse

New to this site? This is one of 4 posts on my 21 Day Standard Process Purification experience. If you haven’t already, be sure to read the first 3 posts of this series.

Now onto the juicy stuff!img_4308

I feel awesome. I have so much energy and I am the leanest I’ve been in 5 years; at least strongest and body fat percentage. This is a BIG deal. I don’t have the healthiest genes coming into 25 years of type 1 diabetes and just over 2 years with a low thyroid. Weight comes off like molasses, and after doing this program, it seems easy. I better be careful, I am going to be jinxed for saying that!

But I am now convinced. We need to have a liver tune-up annually if not every quarter. The liver really is our fat burning organ, and after concluding this program, I now want to position a cleasne as a priority with my weight loss clients.


Concluding Remarks:

  • MEASUREMENTS: So how much weight did I lose? Nearly 5 pounds! I was definitely pleased. While I weighed-in on day 1 and 21, I also thought about doing tape measure measurements, but easily decided I didn’t want to get stuck on any numbers as I went about the program.  I wanted to 1) focus on gaining the most health as possible, 2) not weigh-in during the program at all, and 3) use my appetite and listening skills to zero in on what my body was craving for food choices. If I were to hop on the scale daily, I would have let my dietitian brain take over and dictate my meals. Additionally, I started this program at one of my lowest weights in the last 2 years. Concluding the 3 weeks I was shocked to see I lost any additional weight. No doubt, I am pleased, but I am even happier with how healthy I feel. The only bad news? I really need to break-up with coffee. In the meantime, green tea/matcha is doing the trick.
  • TOOLS: A few things I really valued during this cleanse, besides the obvious sweet potatoes, included:
    • A good blender. I am thankful I had a blender that could liquify everything from beets, carrots to spinach. img_4300
    • A food processor. I used this when I started making pancakes out of the SP protein powder for breakfast,
    • Coconut butter and coconut flakes – maybe a bigger love, over sweet potatoes,
    • Bananas – they always made a smoothie better. I typically used half of a banana or 1/3 of one,
    • Avocados,
    • Raw pumpkin seeds,
    • Fresh herbs and ginger. I loved ginger in the smoothies,
    • The literature provided with the program including the Guide the 1 Degree of Change Cookbook. While I did not obsessively use either, the list of allowed foods was important and I loved looking over recipes just to gather meal ideas.
    • Journaling. Regardless of what program I am doing, tracking how I feel and what I am doing is so powerful. Journaling allowed me to put more faith into the program, noticing the smallest changes, which I believe generated more results. This practice helped me capture the mind-body aspect of this protocol. img_4313
  • ADVICE: For anyone considering this 21 day program, you are in good hands. This cleanse is a real food based program, with food-based supplements and herbs. I was never hungry and the cleanse targeted organ nourishment and support. I feel different and a better version of myself. Be sure to order your product well ahead of time and read the Guide and Cookbook front to back before beginning. This cleanse was honestly easy, but it was only easy because I went into each day having an idea of what foods I was going to put together for my meals and snacks. Batch cooking is key, and forgo the scale and measurements while conducting the detox, so you can use your true senses of what your body needs for fuel and repair. Shop smartly. I bought a lot of the ingredients from Thrive Market, and got wild seafood, protein and vegetables from bargain groceries. I did not have to go to expensive markets to do this program. All in all, no matter what cleanse people do/nutrition coaches recommend, they need to be recommended uniquely. Send me a an email if you want help deciding.
  • MODIFICATIONS: This exact cleanse recommends no animal protein until day 11. I however, would advise clients to do at least day 1-3 with no animal protein, and if able day 1-5. As for eggs, they are not advised, but if someone knows they are no sensitive to them, and will have less stress with the program, to go ahead and include them. The cleanse also suggests one can use quinoa and lentils, and I’d only use those if needed during the vegetarian phase. If able, I’d remove quinoa, lentils and eggs entirely. Lastly, I would not limit fat. I suggest clients use their intuition and appetite in regulating fat intake.
  • DETOXING: In addition to removing many allergens from the diet (dairy. gluten, corn, soy, beans) I incorporated hot yoga, dry brushing, trampoline work and focused on fluids more than what was emphasized with the Guide. I also avoided quinoa.

Day 15 – Like last weekend we went out and stayed up late. With this, I woke with a roaring appetite. I made a pancake out of the cleanse protein powder. If you are curious about such recipes, download the free Standard Process app on your smartphone. In all, the pancake was just what I needed. My Sunday played out as expected.

Day 16 – Monday – feeling lean and mean. Workouts are great and my mind is clear.

Day 17 – Tuesday – I was headed back home from a visit at my sister’s with her and her 3 little boys and my mom. The day went fine, but we stopped at Chipotle for lunch. I abide by the rules with allowed foods, but had the fajita vegetables on a salad with chicken. I should have gone with their pork because it is not cooked with soybean oil, and should have left out the fajita vegetables. They too arimg_4309e cooked in low quality oil and I could feel it. I felt moody and had cravings. As soon as I got home from the long drive, I had a bowl of sweet potato wedges seasoned with coconut oil/butter and sea salt. I closed the night, grounding myself and attended a hot yoga session.

Day 18 – Woke determined to finish strong. I had a pancake I made from the SP protein powder, a shake for lunch and a salad and turkey for dinner. Fish is recommended to be the first animal protein choice, but I went with what I had on hand as were are finishing up some items before we leave town again for Christmas. One really cool thing today – I felt like my workout was on fire. I pushed myself so hard and I was proud of how much weight I lifted and level of intent I put into my exercise. I think I was smiling while I was running too. Maybe it was my food and re-focus on the program, and or I was in the Christmas spirit.

Day 19 – My mind is on the finish line, but also reviewing how I want to carry on after this program. I think I am going to move towards a paleo AIP diet, but I will mix in the SP protein powder for smoothies or pancakes and continue to eat a lower animal protein lunch. I think the way I adapted my lunch during this 21 days was the biggest needle pusher for a better physique and my energy.

Day 20 – A full day of last minute Christmas shopping and enjoying the day and lunch with my mom for her birthday. I did have wine with our date, but I felt fine and I was sure to enjoy it without feeling guilty.

Day 21 – Christmas Eve! I feel great and cheersed the cleanse for everything it gave me.


JANUARY CLEANSE – If you are interested in doing a cleanse in the New Year, Standard Process is kicking off their 21 Day Standard Process Purification program with a webinar on the 9th of January, and the diet/supplement regime starts on the 10th. Let me know if you need to order a kit, and I will get you what you need. Their cleanse has dairy free and a standard version (both ~ $235)

This program has a Guide and a full eBook (1 Degree of Change) with step by step meal plans and a free app you can download, which has tracking tools, shopping lists/list builder and recipes from the meal plan.

A lot of information, but all of the above makes the program really easy to follow. Hope you have a healthy New Year and entire 2017 in whatever way you choose to strive for your best health.

For people wanting to do this cleanse in January, be sure to participate in the free weekly webinars. First webinar starts January 9th.

2017 Health Goals

This January I implore you to not make a New Year’s resolution (they don’t last long enough), but to strive to build habits that help you gain on your health year round. Here are a few ideas:

  • Research shows a strong correlation with those who note, lose weight by eating better. This process makes us accountable and I recommend clients use old school pen and paper. This process, verses an app like MyFitnessPal, helps us zero in on our appetite with no calorie counting distractions. Data from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found those who wrote everything down lost 2x as much weight as those who didn’t. How is that for motivation? A small task can give big results.
  • Pack your meals. When we pack our lunch, we can control the portion size and ingredients. Use the structure of going to an office to your advantage. Having this boundary and packing meals/snack, you can leave your options to healthy ones, even when at home you wouldn’t follow through. For example, my afternoon snack in the office used to 1-2 cups of raw vegetables and nuts. At home, I’d forgo the vegetables and likely eat more nuts, but if I was in an office and was hungry, I’d eat what I had on hand.
  • Make sleep hygiene a priority. When we lock this in, many other healthy habits fall into place. First sleep needs to be appreciated and then it needs nurtured. On average the clocked hours in bed are as appalling as the current obesity rates. This might be common sense, but we will never have more than 24 hours in a day and the best ways to slow down time is to 1) organize ourselves, 2) be mindful (do you ever pause before eating?) and 3) meditate. So back to sleep – as adults we need a bedtime and a bedtime routine, just like children. We shall not abuse caffeine as it not only hurts our sleep it can hurt our hormones. More tips on sleep here. 
  • Move with interest. Likely we can all agree that movement is good, but make sure it’s something you enjoy. Yes, we may judge an interval workout will give a bigger burn than a walk, but if walking is something we really want to do, it benefits the body and the mind. Find new things that excite you, and rotate the activity each month, before it dulls.
  • I am 100% stealing this brilliant idea from one of my favorite podcasts, The Health Bridge. It’s a 100 day Gong, or what can be defined as in Chinese, it’s a designated amount of time to practice a daily task. Data shows a habit takes about 90 days, so this time-frame is a beautiful amount of time to commit to a healthy action. January 1 I am committing to a 100 day Gong to #1) have warm greetings with my husband, and #2) have a 1 sentence gratitude journal. As for warm greetings, this encompasses just that. Rather than yelling to my husbands office, “good-bye” when I am off to an errand, I intend to put in more effort with our departure and my return. What type of task would you like to commit to?
  • Theme/word. What theme or word would you like to empower for 2017? This year I want to be my best self and expect more out of myself. My word for 2017 is, “Rockstar.” I will believe in myself to accomplish more things and to be pleasantly surprised with what I can succeed to.

Life and health is a journey. No need to hold guilt over your head if you fall off track of what you intend. Just aim to take 3 steps forward with less back. Progress is a win.

Cheers to good health and Happy New Year!

Kelly Schmidt, RD, LDN

Recap of Week #1 on the Cleanse

Oh man, do I have an update…

Last week I shared how I prepped for my upcoming Standard Process cleanse. This week I have a ton to share. Maybe a book’s worth, but I have tried my best to make this concise!

The kick-off went smoothly, crediting batch cooking, organized smoothie recipes/ideas, and grocery shopping. I roasted veggies (2 cookie sheets) 2-3 times, I tried to take it easy, although my husband was traveling most of the week, and I planned some exercise to fit with the program.

img_4142 img_4213


However, this is not an excuse, but honesty of how the week went. I cheated, and I planned on cheating. What? Yes! All the details below.

Before I get there, have I shared why I am detoxing in December? Well, here goes:

For this program, I have the best intentions and high exceptions. I not only want to do this cleanse and feel awesome and accomplished after it, I want to learn everything about it, making myself a guinea pig so I can best steer consumers on a well-rounded cleanse.

Yet, I originally thought I would do this cleanse with patients, but when organizing my plan and collaborating with my local Standard Process rep on how I want to help guide consumers towards a detox like this, he suggested I do the full program first. Oye, which left me with the holiday season to do so.

LESSON #1 – Find a period of time that it’s realistic to meet the guidelines of a program to do a cleanse.

So December is it. I knew I would be challenged with baking (did fine!), social gatherings, reunions with friends, etc, but I was and still am confident I can be compliant (and have been 100% with food).

Mid-week, I knew there was an event on Saturday and I began stressing over not enjoying it because of the detox. I decided ahead I was going to bend the rules, and I have more details and feedback below on day 7. I needed to end the debate of what I was going to do, so I made a decision and made a plan of how I was going to go about it.

LESSON #2 – Relating to a cleanse, and all health initiatives, if you eat something indulgent or off plan, do not beat yourself up and drag on a negative conversation with yourself. I work clients on this all the time. Assess the moment, enjoy what it was, and move on. If able, learn from it too. Don’t turn something as innocent as food into a personal debate and an emotional drain. Life is short.



A play-by-play of Week 1:

Day 1 – Where did my appetite go? This was actually a big surprise. I started the day with a smoothie (coconut butter, spinach, clove, ginger, stevia, ice, water), which was low carb as I am used to a high fat and protein-based bfast and didn’t want to rock the boat too much with my blood sugar and insulin needs. I had a baby shower around lunch and just nibbled on the fruit and vegetable for the offered lunch and had a smoothie waiting for me in my cold car. Dinner was roasted vegetables and half a cup of lentils. Day 1 was, dare I say easy?

Day 2 – I could tell I was detoxing. Feeling cold and sluggish, and (no filter) I was peeing like a race horse. I know it was expected to have an increase in bathroom visits, and I felt like I was non-stop urinating. As I am not a napper, even with a newborn in the house (16 months ago), I did need to rest for 30 minutes mid afternoon. I did a smoothie at bfast and dinner, and think a better plan is a smoothie for bfast and lunch. We are allowed to have a smoothie with a meal, the general rule is to just have 1-3 smoothies a day. My lunch was an awesome Kale Soup w/ lentils and I wrapped the day with a light hot yoga session at Blue Spot Bexley.


Day 3 – I’ve been perkier getting up in the AM. This morning I didn’t want to move. Thankfully I didn’t have anywhere I had to rush to on day 3. Maybe less energy than day 2, so opted to exercise post work with a 30 minute walk with a small incline. Overall, I am definitely not hungry. My gut is telling me some of the ingredients in the smoothie control appetite, but overall not finding the no meat as hard as I imagined. Also no coffee is somewhat breezy. I am starting the day with Yerba Mate tea. Maybe my new go-to post cleanse and use coffee as an occasional treat.

Day 4 – Hallelujah. I feel like a million bucks. It’s not that the first 3 days were terribly hard, I was just dragging and as expected come day 4/5, cleansers start to feel better. I woke w/ no appetite, but eventually had a smoothie to break the fast after a 20 minute swim and sauna session. So reflecting on the day I had an easy intermittent fast and progressed per norm.

Day 5 – Good energy, and a healthy appetite. I had a smoothie for bfast, 2 lunches of veggies and oils, and a smoothie for dinner. I thought I’d eat more salads and raw veggies, yet, It’s been quite cold out and all I want is warm food.

Going back to my plans for this program. I met with my rep in November but also had a conference call on the books with other health care professionals that have done and supported clients on this program. I learned a lot from these veterans and have adapted the program for my needs and goals. Being diabetic I do far better with a fat and protein breakfast. Also, if someone on the program knows they are absolutely not sensitive to eggs, that can be included in the program as well. The next adaption I am amending for myself and will coach people on is the day they start to reintroduce animal protein.


Day 6 – Therefore with day 6 I kicked things off differently. I started with eggs and avocado, lunch was smoothie and veggies as was dinner.

Beyond food, I had a big surprise on day 6. I had this wave of anger (so not the norm). It was almost an out of body like experience. I started researching and came across data showing it’s common to not only detox toxins during a program, but also emotions. It was wild and I have never felt something like it, but it went away by day 7.

Day 7 – Saturday, I felt great waking up, especially coming off such an emotional day before. I did a Bikram class first thing and it was awesome. My food and smoothies were spot on, including my evening out. I ordered a basic salad with olive oil for dressing and asked to have a serving of wild salmon with the greens. It was easy and delicious. Now more details on the “bending of the rules.”

The evening was a double date with dear friends of ours, and a couple who is always on the road, which makes it a treat when we see them. Starting off the week I knew this night was planned and I was honestly stressing about it. I was emotional about being overly anal with the ingredients at the restaurant and more so wanted to have a drink with them. So I decided I was going to nail my meal of food but was going to have some wine. I was going to treasure it; and I did. I noticed I was more sensitive to alcohol, and pass some of my glass to my husband to finish.

I also was overly mindful with my day before and after. I did additional lifestyle detoxing techniques and drank more water and as mentioned, did hot yoga. I organized the plans so started the evening with one of my Dry Farm Wines. Side note, the wine industry is like the supplement industry. There are really good wines out there, such as Dry Farm Wines, and there are really pesticide, sulfite, sugar filled wines out there. I love Dry Farm Wine and Naked Wine as they are clean healthy options and also uber gentle on my blood sugars.

So was the wine worth it? I think, but I made sure I enjoyed every sip and kept focused on my health initiative.

So that’s a wrap. I will be back next week with an update and let me know what info I didn’t share that you may want to know!


JANUARY CLEANSE – If you are interested in doing a cleanse in the New Year, Standard Process is kicking off their 21 Day Standard Process Purification program with a webinar on the 9th of January, and the diet/supplement regime starts on the 10th. Let me know if you need to order a kit, and I will get you what you need. Their cleanse has dairy free and a standard version (both ~ $235)

This program has a Guide and a full eBook (1 Degree of Change) with step by step meal plans and a free app you can download, which has tracking tools, shopping lists/list builder and recipes from the meal plan.

A lot of information, but all of the above makes the program really easy to follow. Hope you have a healthy New Year and entire 2017 in whatever way you choose to strive for your best health.

My Diabetes + My Kids

walkMy three old is proving to put up the challenge lately with sleep. And the other night, after I tucked him in, I heard him upstairs, mumbling about something “forgot, forgot, forgot.”

Mind you this was a Thursday night and all I needed at the moment was a breather, so I let him settle himself asleep as he didn’t come off as upset and he’s gotten pretty savvy at brewing up reasons he shouldn’t have to go to bed yet.


Forty-five minutes later, I make my way to our master bedroom and a quickly grew a little worried as it seemed Declan had been waiting for my footsteps. I reach the second level and immediately, I hear, “Mom you forgot your medicine.” I opened his bedroom door and asked what he was talking about. He gets up and hands me my container of glucose tabs.

Oye, #parentingfail. He was so worried about my glucose tabs and didn’t want me to go to sleep without them in their home of my nightstand. (My one year old loves pulling out my goodies and putting them all over the house. This time, they ended up in Declan’s bed.)

I tucked him away and was flattered he cared about my “medicine.”


The reason I am sharing this story, is to open up the conversation of how other households go about informing family members of someone having diabetes. Beyond the illustration I painted above, I test my blood, change my pump site and draw up insulin in front of my kids, and also share why I eat certain foods to be healthy.  While my oldest is only 3, I want to continue educating him about my health, and help him with a plan if I have a low blood sugar. It was also drawn to my attention of how beneficial it could be to educate significant others on how to test blood sugar and suspend insulin pumps.

When I did the local JDRF walk here in Cols, OH, Lilly was passing out Disney books, where one of the characters had diabetes. I loved this idea, and I am sure there are many other examples available online and beyond.

I grew up in a household where a parent had diabetes and we weren’t all too much in the know, but I wish we were. Either way, there is no perfect way of sharing diabetes nor is there a perfect way to parent. I hope this story brings you comfort and motivation to share anything needed with loved ones.

In closing, have you heard of a FREE program called TrialNet? This is a screening for people who have a relative with type 1 diabetes. There are about 200 locations in the US and to be eligible you need to be at least 1 years old. This data can be scary, but helpful and it is something I have chosen to have done for my children. For more information click here.

My Skinny Jeans and The Holidays

white-sparkler-fire-holiday-festive-background-62500607On average, can you guess how much we tend to gain this time of year? MedPage Today has the details, and while I can layout all the calculated percentages, the gist is, people gain. Above all, the time it takes to put weight on, is nothing compared to the time it takes to shake it off.

So this season, aim to maintain. Yes, don’t try to lose weight, just maintain your weight. By New Years, you will be 1-5 pounds ahead of the average. A few tips on how to maintain:

  • Solidify your ongoing good habits. While eating predominately healthy, real food, we need to have a casual plan for meals throughout the week. Don’t skip meals, and stick to a meal routine. Meals should include fat (yes, we need more fat than most people think), protein and moderate carbohydrates. The golden rule I provide to clients is start the day off with protein (20-30 grams) to prevent cravings and snacking later in the day and then follow-up lunch and dinner with a palm-sized portion of protein, 1/4 of the plate coming from fruit or ancient grains, and the other half of the plate being vegetables, starchy (potatoes, parsnips, plantains) and non-starchy kinds. Have more of the starchy vegetables if you are active.
  • Eat breakfast. Even if you wake-up some mornings and decide you are not hungry, go about eating around the brunch hour and assess how much more you eat in the evening. I am not saying everyone carries their highest calorie intake into the few hours before bed, but more often my non-breakfast eaters do, and this time of day is the hardest to make the cleanest and healthiest choices.
  • Cap your time on Snapchat and Instagram and start organizing your kitchen, recipes and grocery list. The more organized and prepared we are with easy to grab snacks and batch-cooked meals, healthy eating is the obvious choice. Don’t overhaul your diet, just take one step closer to the farm. Instead of chips and granola bars, have nutsand fruit or vegetable. Instead of a protein bars, have hard boiled eggs or grassfed jerky.
  • Grocery shop every week. Even if there are more social gatherings this month, still purchase plenty of produce. When I am busy I am the queen of buying frozen items like berries, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, mango, etc. This season is a great time to enjoy warm food, and warm berries in the evening is a great treat, and roasted vegetables (from frozen) can go a long way for a healthy dinner and leftovers.
  • If you are not getting 60 ounces of water a day by the afternoon, up your game. Being hydrated is one of the best things you can do for yourself. And it’s cheap!
  • Buddy up. Find a partner who has a similar health goal, and communicate daily with food ideas and challenges, using each other for support.

If you are the host, or attending parties:

  • If you are overseeing most of the food, make all you can ahead of time and freeze Approaching the event with fewer to-do’s will make the experience more fun and manageable.
  • When reaching for a treat at a party, opt for something you are honestly and truly going to enjoy and have time to chew and taste. Additionally, contribute to the party and bring a healthy app and dessert.
  • Indulge in the memories at holiday parties verse food. Not often do we think back on a memory and say, “I was so glad I ate all that food.” Keep portions in check, but also see how much you can laugh.
  • If you have a day of baking on the calendar, be sure to taste only what you need to. A teaspoon should be more than enough. If you need a distraction for your mouth while the house begins to smell like chocolate, write down your goal, pour yourself some tea, and pop in a piece of gum.

Secondly, the holidays are so much fun. Keep your perspective positive during this busy time of year and take care of yourself inside and out. Above we touched on food, yet, prioritize mental health too.

  • Pencil in a few extra sessions of yoga, briefly write up a gratitude list each morning, download a meditation app (Calm, HeadSpace, 10% Happier, etc) and or enjoy a good book.
  • Be sure to clock in enough sleep. Strive for at least 8 hours. When we are sleep deprived we tend to eat more food, make poorer food choices and move less overall.

Happy holidays, and cheers to the New Year in good health!


FREE Education – Paleo Summit – Hacking Paleo


I will be 1 of 9 speakers (woot!) for the upcoming Paleo Summit, airing October 19-22. My presentation is on Hacking Paleo and you can register for the FREE virtual event with the link below. Enrollment will include some awesome freebies including my 21 Day Self-Guided Paleo Challenge eBook ($10 value).

Whether you are a paleo enthusiast or just want to learn ways to be healthier, you will find value in this summit. The speakers range from MD’s, cardiologists, Nurses, Dietitians (me!) and bestselling authors. We care about helping the world become a happier and healthier place and have donated our time to give you access to this information.


You don’t have to make any phone calls, download any software, or travel anywhere to experience this Virtual Paleo Summit.  No dealing with booking a hotel, getting up early, or marching to the beat of someone else’s drum.  This summit is on your time, from the comfort of your home or office, straight to your computer through the internet.

On October 19th the Virtual Paleo Summit will go Live and be available until midnight on the 22nd.  You will have 4 full days to watch all of the World Renown Speakers Virtual Trainings.  At the end of the 4th day the Summit will come to a close.  (You can maintain LifeTime Access to all Virtual Trainings with PRO or ELITE Registration)

Just click the link to register.  You will get an email with a link to create a username and password, and then on the 19th, just log in and enjoy the summit.